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Wine Origins Alliance Announces Jacques-Olivier Pesme as New Director

The Wine Origins Alliance (WOA) today announced that it has appointed Jacques-Olivier Pesme as its new director. Pesme assumes the role at the helm of the Alliance, a global coalition of more than 30 wine and grape-growing organizations, after extensive experience in the wine industry and work in more than 20 countries around the world.


Pesme joins the Alliance after more than 20 years of experience leading international organizations and advising key leaders and policymakers in both the public and private sector. A wine industry expert who also has held positions with the UN and the International Trade Centre, Pesme served as the Director of the Wine Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and as Professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Previously, he spent 15 years at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France, where he positioned Kedge as a global academic leading institution in wine business.  


Pesme is highly involved in wine regional development issues advising and supporting organizations and industries around the world on building a sustainable and effective grape and wine industry through world-class action research and tailor-made programs designed for wine industry leaders. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 research papers, articles, books and other publications, and regularly presents at industry conferences and proceedings.


“I am honored to assume the role of Director of the Wine Origins Alliance,” said Pesme. “I look forward to working alongside the Alliance and its members from around the globe to protect wine region names around the world and eliminate trade barriers on wine.”


For nearly two decades, WOA has been a unified force in the global wine industry working to eliminate trade barriers on wine, including the lack of protection for wine region names around the world. Its members represent nearly 90,000 wineries and grape growers that have generated more than one million jobs and more than $8 billion in global wine exports. In October 2023, eight members of the Alliance convened in Dijon, France to develop a new strategic plan as the organization approaches its 20th year, which included the decision to hire the Alliance’s first director. In this new role, Pesme will provide Alliance members with strategic guidance and counsel, as well as spearhead the organization’s global engagement through organizations such as the International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV).


“Jacques-Olivier’s past experience working with a wide range of wine regions and other industry stakeholders around the globe make him an excellent choice for Director of the Wine Origins Alliance,” said Linda Reiff, President and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners, a founding member of WOA and co-chair of the steering committee. “We are excited to have his guidance as the Alliance enters its next and best chapter.”


“I am delighted to welcome Jacques-Olivier as the director of the Wine Origins Alliance,” said Charles Goemaere, Director General of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, a founding member of WOA and co-chair of the steering committee. “As the Alliance continues to grow in size and scope, Jacques-Olivier’s leadership presents a great opportunity to make our coalition more impactful going forward.”


Under Pesme’s guidance, the Wine Origins Alliance plans to build upon its past work advocating for the protection of wine region names and the elimination of other barriers to trade in wine, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers. To further this goal, the Wine Origins Alliance also selected Natalie Pavlatos and Washington, DC-based strategic communications firm Vision360 Partners to continue leading the communications and administrative work of the Alliance.


For more information about the Wine Origins Alliance, visit


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